Witness a sacred spectacle in Pattani

Witness a sacred spectacle in Pattani

Witness a sacred spectacle in Pattani
The Lim Ko Niao Goddess Celebration.

Chinese pilgrims and tourists from neighbouring Malaysia are heading to the seaside town of Pattani to attend the Lim Ko Niao Goddess Celebration, which runs until Feb 27.

On Saturday, the highlight is a majestic sedan-chair procession that transports sacred statues of goddess Lim Kor Niao and other deities such as Chao Mae Tubtim, Chao Pho Tiger, Guan Yin and Guan Yu through the streets before bathing them in the Pattani River. It is believed to bring good fortune and wealth to residents.

In the late afternoon, visitors can gather on the ceremonial ground in front of the shrine and witness a breathtaking fire-walking ceremony. Encircled with red fencing and off limits to women, hundreds of barefoot men will be sprinkled with holy water before embarking on a flaming path of charcoal, rice and paper talismans.

The Thailand International Lion Dance competition will be held on Feb 26 and 27, along with an exhibition honouring Chao Mae Lim Ko Niao, a Chinese opera and a nora dance to promote Pattani's multicultural community where Thai, Chinese and Muslims have coexisted in harmony.

According to legend, Lim Ko Niao crossed the South China Sea to Pattani to take her brother home to care for their dying mother. However, her brother Lim To Kiam declined her plea, opting to remain in Pattani with his wife. Lim Ko Niao then chose to hang herself from a cashew nut tree.

To honour her life, villagers carved a wooden statue and established a shrine near Masjid Kerisik before Luang Chin Kananurak restored the Leng Chu Kiang Shrine in 1879 and relocated her to the present location. According to the Chinese calendar, the annual rite kicks off with the goddess Lim Ko Niao procession on the 14th of the first lunar month.

Visit thailandfestival.org.

The International Makha Bucha and Robe Presentation to Phrathat Festival.

Go on pilgrimage to Nakhon Si Thammarat

Until Saturday, the International Makha Bucha and Robe Presentation to Phra That Festival returns to Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, which is situated in the seaside town of Nakhon Si Thammarat, to honour a day more than 2,500 years ago when 1,250 monks convened without an arrangement.

During the festival, pilgrims are encouraged to wear white while taking part in the procession of Pha Phra Bot to the chedi, which enshrines Lord Buddha's relics. There is also chanting, Mahachati and other sermons, the wian thian ceremony and khao thip mathupayas yakhu (a sacred rice dessert).

Legend has it that King Srithammasokkaraj established the ancient city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and constructed a Srivijaya-style pagoda in 555 AD to enshrine a Buddha relic that he discovered on Had Sai Kaew. In 1247, King Srithammasokkaraj V adopted Lanka-style influence to recreate the pagoda in the shape of a bell that was encircled with 158 smaller pagodas.

Visit facebook.com/TAT.NST.

Cosi Vientiane Nam Phu.

Centara opens new property in Laos

Centara Hotels & Resorts has expanded its base to Laos with a launch of Cosi Vientiane Nam Phu, which is slated to open its doors on March 1.

To celebrate its opening, the hotel offers an exclusive 30% discount on all bookings from now until April 30 for stays between March 1 and April 30. Guests will also receive daily food and drink credit plus free Wi-Fi.

Room rates start from 2,090 baht++ and CentaraThe1 members can enjoy an extra 15% on-top discount as well as the opportunity to earn extra points to be used and redeemed on their next stay with Centara Hotels & Resorts worldwide.

Visit centarahotelsresorts.com.

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